Santander profits rise as it wins over current account customers

 
Tim Wallace
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The high street bank yesterday reported profits of £470m for the three-month period (Source: Getty)
Santander UK’s profits rose sharply in the first quarter as the lender continued to win customers from rivals.

The high street bank yesterday reported profits of £470m for the three-month period, up 13 per cent on the year.

It is engaged in a fierce battle with Halifax for new current account customers.

Both brands offer customers cash, with a welcome bonus and monthly payment at Halifax, and a cashback scheme and relatively high interest rate at Santander.

One-in-four of those who have used the seven day switching service so far have moved to Santander, with 84,800 moving to the bank in the first quarter.

The bank had suffered from a poor reputation for customer service in the past, but customer satisfaction rates are now near the best in the sector, up to 60.7 per cent from 57.8 per cent a year earlier.

Its mortgage loan book expanded from £147.6bn a year ago to £149.bn in March 2015. But that is down a touch on the high of £150.1bn at the end of December 2014.

But the corporate loan book grew more steadily, up nine per cent on the year to £25bn by the end of the first quarter.

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